How does one become a creative director in an advertising agency?

If you are looking for a simplistic and somewhat cynical answer, it’s a pretty easy task; you start off as a copywriter or art director and you make great ads. Do this long enough and you get promoted. Get enough promotions and they eventually make you management, usually to justify your pay raises. Creative directors are probably the only people in an agency whose job is completely different from the job that got them there. Prior to becoming one, all they had to do was string together some snappy words and stick them on a pretty picture. They’ve never had to lead, to delegate, to inspire, to make decisions that effect the lives of their once equals. You’d think they’d all crash and burn with all of this new responsibility.

But they don’t all crash and burn. Many of them rise to the challenge and adapt quickly — if not smoothly — to this new chapter in their lives. Some even become better at managing talent than they ever were at crafting a half-decent toothpaste campaign.

Creative Director: Year Zero is a compilation of stories from various CDs about how they made the switch from mere "creative" to "creative director", and the challenges faced and lessons they learned in the process.